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Pueblo Tacos

Adapted from a recipe provided by Wyngs restaurant on the Tigua Indian Reservation in El Paso, this colorful entrée takes time to prepare; you may want to make the sauce the day before.

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 Pueblo Taco Shells (recipe, below) 
  • 3 (16 oz.) cans refried beans (or 6 c. homemade refried beans) 
  • 4 3/4 c. Taco Meat (recipe, below) 
  • 1 qt. Chili Colorado Sauce (recipe below) 
  • 1 head lettuce, shredded 
  • 1 1/2 lbs. cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced 
  • 20 oz. sour cream 
  • 20 oz. commercial or homemade pico de gallo

Place Pueblo Taco Shells on large plates. Spread each shell with about 1/2 c. refried beans. Sprinkle about 1/3 c. Taco Meat evenly over refried beans, and top with about 1/3 c. Chili Colorado Sauce. Layer each shell with lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes, and top with generous dollops of sour cream and pico de gallo. Yield: 10-12 Pueblo Tacos.

Pueblo Taco Shells

The base for a Pueblo Taco consists of a large round of fried bread. It’s similar to Indian Fry-Bread, a sweet bread served with honey at the Inn of the Twelve Clans, the restaurant on the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation in East Texas.

7 c. flour 1 T. baking powder 1 T. salt 1 1/8 c. vegetable oil, divided about 1 c. warm water

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Into a separate bowl, pour 5 T. oil. Sprinkle flour mixture over oil, and mix about 2 minutes. Add enough warm water to make a soft dough. Mix dough for a few minutes, and turn out onto a lightly floured board.

Knead dough for about 5 minutes, until shiny and elastic. Divide dough into 10-12 balls, each about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll out each ball into a 6-inch round.

Heat remaining vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Gently place each bread round in hot oil, and fry for 30 seconds. Then, flip bread, and fry for another 30 seconds. Remove bread from oil, and drain well. Repeat procedure with remaining bread rounds. Yield: 10-12 Pueblo Taco Shells.

Chili Colorado Sauce

The staff at Wyngs uses this tantalizing concoction to flavor several of its spicy, traditional dishes. Faint-hearted souls, beware—this sauce registers HOT, even by Texas standards. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and to protect your eyes while working with the chilies.

3/4 lb. dried red chilies 1/4 oz. or about 1 T. dried chili pequins 2 qts. water 1 tsp. salt 1 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic 2 tsp. cumin 1 bay leaf 3/4 tsp. ground oregano

Rinse red chilies with cold water; drain. Remove stems, and allow the loose seeds to fall off. Place red chilies and chili pequins in a large pot, and add 2 quarts of water. Bring water to a boil, remove from heat, and strain chilies, reserving cooking liquid.

Place cooked chilies in blender, and add some cooking liquid (enough to make a thick sauce). Blend for at least 2 minutes. Pour sauce through a strainer placed over a large saucepan, and stir sauce with a spatula to force sauce through strainer. Discard leftover skin and seeds.

Add salt and spices to sauce, stir, and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat, and simmer for about an hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Yield: About 1 qt. sauce, or enough for 10-12 Pueblo Tacos.

Taco Meat

2 lbs. lean hamburger 1 large (baking size) potato, peeled and diced 2 (1 oz.) packages Lawry’s Taco Seasoning

Sauté hamburger and potato together until meat is almost done. Add seasoning mix, and cook a little longer, until potatoes are tender. Yield: About 4 3/4 c. taco meat, or enough for 10-12 Pueblo Tacos.

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